Arrival in Cascais

Wild Carol does Australia
John and Fiona Fraser
Sun 26 Jun 2011 08:05
38:41.45N 9:25.1W
We arrived in Cascais, Portugal at 1000 on Saturday 25th.  Our journey took exactly 2 days, an average speed of over 7 knots - what a contrast to the Biscay crossing!  I went in to sign in at the marina reception and there was another Brit there signing in and muttering about "can only stay one night....heading for Alicante...behind schedule....delayed in Biscay you know.."  I sympathised and signed in.  The last time Fiona and I were here there was no marina, just a nice anchorage off the town - so much has change in the last 20 years. The welcome couldn't be faulted as I was presented with a bottle of Portuguese red from the marina reception lady with a "welcome to Cascais".  Graham will report on our stay in Cascais in his farewell blog (still waiting for Alex's!).  Sadly we have had to say farewell to another crew member as Graham heads back to commitments at home for a week then off back to Papua to do what he does.  He headed off at 6 this morning but we got a call at 8:15 asking for my Expedia login to get his booking reference as they wouldn't let him on the plane without it.  Sadly I couldn't help as he made the booking on the phone.  Hopefully he got on the flight and is this very minute in the air heading for Aberdeen via London.
We had a brilliant sail from La Coruna. It made up for all the traumas and pain in getting across Biscay.  The tone was set by the wonderful lunch prepared by Iain and Max as we motored gently along the northern coast just out of Coruna in a light wind.  The wind started to pick up from the north and before long we were bowling along heading south at 7-9 knots under double-reefed main and jib poled out.  This continued for a day and a half as we swept past spectacular coastline lined with wind turbines.  They are like forests here and I have to say I don't think they detract from the view.  As Graham puts it our generation grew up with pylons marching across the landscape and accept them for what they are.  Iain's generation will see wind turbines in the same light. 
We headed further from the coast as we pointed the boat towards Cabo Raso near Lisbon.  Graham and I had the 10-2 and 4-6 watches so we got the benefit of both the sunsets and the sunrises.  The nights were cold with full foul weather gear needed.  Damp as well, as dew settled on the boat in the early morning.  We barrelled on into the darkness in bigger seas than we had been battling in Biscay but this time the difference was that the wind was with us, not against us and it was exhilarating.  We competed to get the best surfing speed and I have to modestly admit that I won with 11.1 with Iain very close behind. On the final morning the wind died and we got the sails down and the engine on and motored the last few miles in the mist before Iain brought the boat in to the reception pontoon at Cascais Marina. 
The temperature difference as we got into the shelter of the marina hit us.  Shorts were quickly found and all the hatches opened.  The two fans I had installed in the saloon were put into action for the first time.  It was a hot day with someone in town telling us that it was 39 degrees but I'm not sure it was that hot.  The temperature in the saloon reached 29 and the water temperature is now over 19 degrees.
Well that's all from me for now.  We are down to three now.  127 miles to go to Portimao in the Algarve where we are planning on leaving the boat.  Our flights home are booked - Max on Tuesday and Iain and I on Thursday.  We leave just as soon as I get this done.  Here's a few photos.
Sous chef at work
The result
Still cold!
This is what we signed up for!
Windmills and light houses - Cabo Villano
Gull winged
Cascais Marina